Thursday, March 8, 2012

Getting Older

It struck me all of a sudden today when I was seeing my employee profile on my company portal, my age was now automatically reading 31. Gosh! Seems like yesterday when my friends made a whole hoolah as I crossed the 30 marker. Now the number on my employee profile signified me as someone well entrenched in those 30+ waters. Just a number it may be, but age is somewhat magical as an entity.

As a kid, I remember looking forward for my birthday to dawn. Call it a simple joy of life when we got to dress to school in clothes other than the school uniform, pick your friends to carry the bag of chocolates and run around the school giving sweets to all your friends in other classes. Those were the days when evenings meant a party at home, cutting the cake and playing party games. (Remember; bombing the cities, passing the parcel, tail the donkey etc…)

Somehow when in high school, age was now required to be higher than what I was. It also had its own landmarks- am I in my teens? Do I get my learner’s Driving License when I’m 16? 18 and am I now of legal age to enter a pub and have beer? What privileges are entitled to me now that I am officially an adult? That was possibly the last time when the number in the age column mattered so much.

The feeling of years being added to the age column never seemed to matter once I was done with my graduation. What was more evident was how we were changing once we got into our first jobs. Prosperity began to show up. Once upon a time student who ran around and were blessed with toned bodies started picking up flab as they sat in offices and enriched themselves with Vitamin M. Hairlines which stood the test of exam pressures were receding under work pressure (some due to X-rays and radiation). The first time we met a year after graduation- some of us were catching up with age far sooner that the mid 20’s we were in.

The number against age again caught up with me when I enrolled for my Post-Graduation. I was 26, the maximum batch was 23 and the other extreme was 21. As I got assigned the role of the father figure, being called Uncle/ Kaka just came down so easy to most of my classmates. But what the age disparity also created was me working under people who were younger to me. It mattered me not one bit- ideas are no one’s domain and age had nothing to do with the quality of ideas you can come up with.

This I say is one area where the number against the column ‘age’ and ‘experience’ usually have no relation. As a matter of fact, when I started working in the Ad world, I worked with people who were younger to me, less years in terms of overall experience, but definitely qualified to be my senior colleagues by virtue of domain experience.

Today, I stand at a very strange cross road in life- this is the age where I’m witness to a lot of my friends and acquaints move up in to the next stage of life… starting families. In recent times through social networks, I see more and more people around me are tying the knot or are today announcing the birth of their kids. Not to mention I have got together with the most loving person I have met in my life and made year number 30 a milestone.

I don’t know how many more landmarks are in the waiting for me, but one thing is for sure- as we are growing older, it’s better to enjoy every year to the full, treat is just as a number and make it special so that it is a year you will remember for all your life.